Starting a business wasn’t exactly on Rinette Azizo’s mind when she designed her first headband.
This story first appeared in the October 19, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I was going to a party and one of my ex-boyfriends was going to be there, so I wanted to do something to get his attention,” Azizo admits. “I decided to make this hot headband, and it worked. And all of these people at the party were commenting on it, so I knew I had something.”
Word traveled fast. The Brooklyn native began getting multiple requests to make headpieces for brides, bridesmaids and friends looking for something special. Azizo made a few headpieces at a time and sold them immediately. Slowly the orders grew. Women were in awe of Azizo’s playful use of crystal, sequins, beads and feathers and rich textures of velvet and satins. Now, as she gets ready to celebrate her first anniversary in business next month, she sells through her Web site — rinetteazizo.com, where one can use PayPal to purchase her works — and through Bunny Martel, a Brooklyn skin care and hair salon.
“Much of my inspiration comes from the vintage shopping I do. I’m a big collector of vintage gowns and hats,” Azizo says. “I always say I was born in the wrong century. I wish I could wear hats all the time.”
Rinette headbands wholesale from $15 for a simple style to $50 for custom bridal pieces. Azizo aims for about $500,000 in wholesale business within the next year, and she hopes to expand into other accessories and even apparel when the time is right. For now, she just wants to help women make an entrance at a party.
“With my pieces, I want girls to be noticed — but in a nice way,” she says. “It’s a great way to feel pretty without being exposed.”